I have just started volunteering at the library again, so I have a range of books that is likely different than what I'd buy on my own. Because of all...moreI have just started volunteering at the library again, so I have a range of books that is likely different than what I'd buy on my own. Because of all the heart attacks, I've been reading all the food and nutrition sections, and here we are.
Morgan is a WV boy, from just up the road at Beckley. And I like him; he's funny. A little crude, as are most of our hometown boys.
It's an interesting book - very broad, not particularly scholarly in tone (although researched, don't get me wrong). Is there anything new here for the food thinker, the vegan, or the Pollan fan? Not much, I fear. Here it's like he's broken it down for not the LCD, but somewhere close.
I think the most important thesis of this book is that raising kids in this world of food advertising is a hostile environment. And whether or not people have the sense to oppose it, previous generations just didn't have to wrestle with it. Plus, as he points out, it's not illogical to imagine a french fry is a french fry, but at fast food joints it rarely is similar to anything you'd ever cook at home, so it's not as easy as it would appear to make choices.
Other times he seems overly influenced by Alex or Mr. Pollan's version of food snobbery. Um, while the interior aisles of the grocery store do contain sugary cereals, they also contain tomato paste. Food preservation is an old science, and that's many books in itself. Fresh is good, but preservation is a key in many diets like being a locavore or my grandmother with her home canned tomatoes. I'd rather my child eat some dried beans from the middle of the store than a freshly killed lamb from the perimeter.
There are a lot of ways to measure moral issues; I find a handy lens to be - what rationally will result from this? So, while Spurlock does blame food companies he goes back to personal responsibility over and over again. We really are a vast and mighty nation, and even if our marines are fat, we'll probably be alright. But all the health issues that come from eating badly are going to become a public burden and further erode our already damaged society, pitting political sides and business versus people. I don't think it would be so hard for him to take a slightly harder line. I mean, he asks why a journalist would put Marion Nestle's opinion next to a crackpot as though they were equal, but on his own sidebar of food "trends" he lists Dean Ornish next to the grapefruit diet. Sorry, did he fail to note Dr. Ornish's significant contribution to the fight against heart disease? Or is the Ornish wing in so many hospitals no different than the McDonald's?
He does a nice job of highlighting fun and disturbing facts, like that nothing at McD's is guaranteed vegetarian, and that your burger might have parts of 1000 cows in it. That one really makes you shudder. Or the link b/w dairy and prostate cancer shown in some studies. Thank god, I was getting nauseous watching my husband drink milk from the carton; I guess that might have to slow down now. And he does a great job outlining what some school systems have begun to do that really works.
Finally he brings up the issue of the commodification of health ideas - leading to low carb brownies. I wish someone would really investigate this further. I mean, do you ever just read a label and think 'how would you do that?' I mean, you know it's nothing good they sub in. Plus, anyone who's taken O chem knows that a substance that can replace another typically has similar properties, chemically speaking. So what do they use? And how does that act in your body? (less)
Um, hm. Ran into a pile of these today. They really have an addictive quality. I'm crazy about cousin Claire who won't admit she's a fairy and says he...moreUm, hm. Ran into a pile of these today. They really have an addictive quality. I'm crazy about cousin Claire who won't admit she's a fairy and says her Versace dress was shot and eats flowers all the time. Is there anything comparable one could read that would be funny and creative and instead be a mystery novel? Still, KM has a way of creating characters you care about. Well, the women anyway.(less)
This is the story of Allegra and Christian. It's not my absolute favorite, because they get together too easily at the beginning. Still, fun, like mos...moreThis is the story of Allegra and Christian. It's not my absolute favorite, because they get together too easily at the beginning. Still, fun, like most of the Katie MacAllister books...(less)